Co-working spaces may help fuel local tech industry

"We’ve all seen the commercial of a person typing away on a laptop lounging on a sandy beach with a turquoise water view and an umbrella drink on a table close by. The only thing missing from this picture is reality – and high speed connectivity and reliable cell service.

So, the self-employed are actually found in home offices, coffee shops and libraries. For some, this works. For others, home provides distractions and a feeling of isolation while coffee shops and libraries give a greater sense of community but no actual networking or collaborative opportunities.

Other options do exist for entrepreneurs not ready or desiring to lease a full-fledged office, such as co-working spaces.

“Until this year, Vancouver was the only city in Washington with more than 100,000 people that had no co-working or incubator space,” said Teresa Brum, the city of Vancouver’s economic development manager. “But we now have three in Vancouver, and there is a growing demand for more co-working space.”

Co-working spaces offer the best of dedicated services and the flexibility of low monthly costs into one concept. Utilities, a professional mailing address, use of conference rooms and a quiet place to meet clients are all basic features of most co-working spaces..."